By Scott McDonald, www.bodysolid.com
Power Racks are one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment to own. Free weights are a great way to build strength but carry inherent dangers when used without a spotter. Enter the Power Rack, which if used correctly, provides the element of safety needed to perform these exercises alone without a spotter. See 5 of the top exercises below:
1. Military/Overhead Press
Setting the safeties at about shoulder level, press bar and weights overhead and return.
Setting the safeties at about waist level or above, position body under bar with the bar resting on your shoulders, stand up to full height then return to a bent knee position.
3. Bench Press
Position a bench within the rack and set the safeties level with or slightly above your chest when lying on the bench. Press weights up and return.
4. Rack Pulls
With bar and safeties just below your knees, hold bar with overhand grip, position body with slight bend in knees and back, arms straight with shoulders over the bar, stand up pulling barbell up and return.
Set safeties between knee and waist level. Pick up bar and hold at full arm extension while shrugging your shoulders and arms up then back, and repeat.
5 Ways to Amp Up Your Power Rack Workouts
Power Racks are a safe and versatile way to workout. Best known for their ability to provide a relatively safe and easy way to perform basic free weight exercises (Various Presses, Squats, Shrugs, etc.) there are many other ways to utilize your rack. Try these as part of your next workout.
- Most racks have hooks or pegs that allow you to attach weight lifting bands (think very large rubber bands). Attach the other ends to your bar and perform your favorite exercise. The bands will provide a negative resistance on your repetitions, enhancing the workout impact.
- Pull ups are a great old school exercise that can be done on the front or back top bar of your rack. Many racks have special attachments with multiple pull up options and even rock climbing fixtures to improve your hand strength as well. Other fun attachments like hanging chin up balls can create other variations on this exercise.
- Dips are another well known exercise and most racks have an inexpensive attachment that allows you to do perform dips on your rack. Combine with some lifting bands if you need an assist when you first get started.
- Ab Slings are easily hung from the top bar of your rack allowing vertical knee raises and other exercises for strengthening your abs and core muscles.
- Using an inexpensive land mine attachment, you can perform T-bar rows and other landmine exercises using the rack as your base.
On top of bench press, pin pressed are another great exercise for a power rack–you basically set the pins where your weaknesses are and that allows you to focus them better.